For the second season in a row Real Monarchs SLC open their season on the road in San Antonio. Last season the Monarchs suffered a 1-0 loss in the only regular season match they played before the USL Championship closed down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tonight they hope to turn that around and get off to a successful start and extended start to the new 2021 season.
San Antonio FC, another of the seven teams in the Monarch’s Mountain Division, opened their season last Saturday with a 3-0 victory over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC to take an earlier lead in the division standings. New arrival, Santiago Patino, who signed after being released by Orlando City FC at the end of the 2020 season, had a hat trick scoring all three goals and was named USL Championship Player of the Week. The victory also increased their regular season unbeaten streak to 13 games.
The Monarchs are returning only 3 players from a rough 2020 season and have only a total of thirteen players signed on USL contracts at this point. Three of those thirteen are still in quarantine due to Covid or yet to receive visas. Two more, Brayan Gomez and Juan Vidal, are out with injuries for this match. Expect to see Jeff Dewsnap, Chris Garcia and Bode Davis down on loan from RSL early in the season and at least 6 academy players to make up the gameday rosters. With only three signed players on the back line and no defenders down from RSL, it seems nearly certain that an academy player will be getting their first USL start this week.
The match kicks off at 7:30 MDT and will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Real Monarchs current roster as of May 8th, 2021
Goalkeepers (1): Jimmy Slayton
Defenders (3): Kyle Adams, James Moberg, Kevin Saucedo
Midfielders (5): Sam Brown, Brayan Gomez, Josimar Quintero, Ibrahim Bancé, Julio Benitez
Forwards (4): Max Mata, Malik Johnson, Juan Vidal, Aris Briggs